South Street businesses grapple with police presence and road closures affecting business

South Street businesses grapple with police presence and road closures affecting business

There is an increased security in South Street, following the recent violence, including the mass shooting. The community is divided over how long the additional security measures should last.

It’s Thursday and Meet Me on South Street signs are out of business.

“It’s an invitation to come see our vibrant community,” said Dana Feinberg.

The goal is to attract more customers and start working on the weekend with the promise of discounts every Thursday. Feinberg is located in the South Street Headhouse District. “Helping people realize that there are new businesses opening every week on South Street in and around the area,” she said.

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However, there are some drawbacks that may keep customers away. Indeed, countless metal roadblocks line the streets ready to take control and cut off traffic.

“Since the shooting, it’s definitely been a little uptick in terms of security,” said business owner Sponey O’Neill of O’Neill’s Pub. He talks about street closures on certain days and times as well as an increased police presence in the wake of the June shooting that killed two people and injured more than a dozen.

“Do I sometimes think there are a lot of police here? Yes. Does it stop people from going down here? Yes,” he said.

Then there are street closures. “We’re kind of trapped and people can’t even reach us,” O’Neill said.

Samantha Chu owns Sam Chu Tettery. “It definitely slowed things down,” Shaw said. They don’t open until late like bars and restaurants when security measures are mostly in place here. But it will be open Thursday during Meet Me On South Street.

“There has to be a presence here,” she said. “Does it have to be so overburdened that you’re keeping people away? I don’t think so. Somewhere there has to be a middle ground.”

Police did not say how long the heightened security on South Street would last, but only that they would continue to work with the Headhouse District Business Association and the community to ensure a safe environment.

For a list of all participating businesses and featured promotions, visit Meet Me on South Street website.

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